Category Archives: Uncategorized

The feminine hearth as an engine of control


Symbolism hidden in every day functions can be like ghosts haunting us, whispering in our ears as we go about our lives. We sleep, wake, eat and we cook. As I go about the last of these every day activities, I sense a disturbance in the force. I have an absurd love-hate relationship with cooking. The symbology bound to it masks a focal point that should be called the feminine hearth.

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The wild bees of Pune, India

Stingless bees with white pollen bundles on their hind legs.

A goodly gang of stingless bees has taken up residence in a potted Bauhinia Blakeana tree in my terrace garden. Trying to figure out what kind of bee they are turned out to be a monumental task. After much searching among scholarly articles on bees found in the Western Ghats in western India (here’s one, in case anyone’s interested: anti-microbial activity of stingless bee propolis used in folk medicine of western Maharashtra), I think I can narrow them down to the Trigona species of stingless bees as they seem to be fairly common in this part of India.

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North and South: How even geography becomes a source of prejudice


Human geography will outstrip all the cartographic lines we put down on maps. We draw them compulsively, needing to categorise and separate—on the ground, on paper, but somehow there’s no finality. We put a door in the wall and try to feel safe behind it.

But people are always crossing over, lines will always blur and sometimes even our doors get broken down. There is that kind of creeping, assimilating tide washing in from a dominant culture. It will take us over, ingest us and our ideas, our protective lines will be breached and we were too meek to push back.

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